November 12, 2009
Brad and Andy return live this week to answer your questions and discuss their flames, lames and deep names for Week 10. Submit your questions for Friday night's "Fantasy Freak Show" on The Score via email (Please include name/city) at email@example.com.You can also dial the studio line starting at 8 PM PT/10 PM CT/11 PM ET at 312-644-6767 or text us at 67011. You can also follow the show, and the Noise, via Twitter.
Each week the Noise highlights eight somewhat obscure, unobvious names who he believes are destined for flame madness or lame sadness. Being an accountability advocate, he will tally his hits and misses and post the results, whether genius or moronic, each week using the scoring system posted here.
More Noise: Hightower, Arizona's desert oasis
FLAMES (Started in fewer than 60 percent of Y! Plus leagues)
Matchup: vs. Jac
For the anti-Leinart, vanilla tallies have been the norm this season. Six times he's failed to eclipse 175 passing yards in a game. He's also racked multiple scores in a contest just three times. But despite his unexciting contributions, the rookie, in vintage Namath style, is at least scoring sizable points with blonde beauties off the field. This week, Sanchez' on-the-field results could be equally spectacular. The Jaguars, caged repeatedly by opposing quarterbacks, have allowed 210.3 passing yards and eight touchdowns over their past four contests. Against the run they're even more deplorable. Due to their defensive shortcomings and the Jets' strength in the trenches, look for the Jags to overload the box, forcing Sanchez airborne. If he can establish an early rhythm, the former Trojan, fresh of the bye and with Jerricho Cotchery(notes) presumably at or near 100 percent, should plunge a shortsword into the heart of the tamable kitties.
Matchup: at SD
One of the objects of the Noise's preseason desires, McCoy has played admirably filling in for foggy-headed Brian Westbrook(notes). Although no determination has been made about his availability – he practiced indoors today – Westbrook's chances of suiting up this week appear to be faint. The ankle swelling and headaches he experienced late last week have subsided, but the Eagles will continue to exercise extreme caution. Assuming Westbrook doesn't see action, McCoy, a rookie from Pitt, will again yield top-20 results, this time in Ron Burgundy country. The Chargers D has shown some improvement in the run game of late, surrendering just 3.7 yards per carry, 121.5 total yards per game and one end-zone dive to backs since Week 5, equal to the fourth fewest fantasy points. But McCoy's prominent role in the passing game operating as Donovan McNabb's(notes) primary safety net suggests he could be targeted often on short screens and swings, especially if the Chargers copy Dallas' blitz-heavy gameplan from a week ago. Averaging 5.7 yards per carry and 103.5 total yards per game over the past two weeks, the versatile youngster should again flirt with the century mark in total yardage.
Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 54 rushing yards, 4 reception, 37 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Den
Only Steve Phillips' mistress is uglier than Redskins football. As my colleague Andy Behrens has stated repeatedly, watching three hours of poorly executed plays is the real life equivalent of consuming an entire Costco-sized container of Miracle Whip in one sitting. However, all offensive value isn't completely lost in the Washington cesspool. With Clinton Portis(notes) "very doubtful" this week, the more versatile Betts could turn back the clock to 2006, a season he finished with six straight 100-total yard games. Denver's allegedly ironclad 3-4 defense has started to spring a few leaks recently, especially up front. Over the past five weeks, the Broncos have conceded 4.6 yards per carry and 158 total yards per game to rushers. Because Betts will likely touch the rock approximately 20-25 times, he's certainly capable of eclipsing last week's totals.
Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 88 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 14 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. KC
black hole all light and fantasy value is trapped by
Al Davis gravity. But
this week, McFadden could defy the laws of physics. Last year's highest drafted
rusher, who has been sidelined by a knee injury for the past several weeks,
practiced without restriction Wednesday and is expected to start. More
importantly, tackle Cornell Green(notes) and guard Robert Gallery(notes), the Raiders' best
run blocker, are also slated to start. As Tom Cable noted earlier this week,
this is "the healthiest this football team has been" this year. Oakland should
have little difficulty overpowering a Chiefs frontline which has been
manhandled at the line of scrimmage. Since Week 5, they've surrendered 5.0
yards per carry, 158.8 total yards per game and four scores to rushers equal, to
the 10th-most fantasy points allowed. McFadden has also achieved marked success
against KC during his brief injury-plagued career, averaging 76.1 total yards
per game with two scores in three contests. Another quality effort could be in
Fearless Forecast: 13 carries, 51 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 22 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Det
Next to Miles Austin(notes), "Sticky" Rice has been one of the best wideout waiver adds this season. The hard-working receiver has established an unbreakable bond with Brett Favre(notes) which has led to several explosive performances. In the four games leading up to last week's bye he averaged 5.8 receptions and 103.3 yards per game, ranking him No. 17 at his position in points per game. To no one's surprise, the Lions are still loathsome in all facets defensively, especially against the pass. Over the past four weeks, they've allowed four touchdowns and three 75-yard receiver performances to WRs, equal to the 12th-most fantasy points yielded. Though he only snagged three catches for 29 yards against Detroit in Week 2, Rice will use and abuse Phillip Buchanon(notes) in the rematch.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 94 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 14 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Chi
Pressed by Tennessee's tight coverage, Crabs failed to achieve flame status in this space a week ago. Undeterred by last week's unfortunate events, the Noise is once again panning for fantasy gold. The Bears secondary is in shambles. Injuries to safeties Kevin Payne(notes) and Al Afalava(notes) combined with Charles Tillman's(notes) suspect play have turned the unit into a lovable bunch of plush teddies. Including last week's embarrassing effort against Kurt Warner(notes), the Midgets of the Midway have yielded eight touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points to wideouts since Week 5. Outside of last week's invisible performance, the rookie has transitioned incredibly well, becoming one of Alex Smith's primary targets. In three contests he's averaged 7.7 looks, 4.7 receptions and 55.7 yards per game. Count on his excellent route-running and strong frame proving problematic for Chicago.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 76 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
Matchup: vs. Cin
Wallace has jumped out of the free agent pool and into starting lineups over the past several weeks. The rapidly advancing rookie has compiled 60.8 yards per game and three scores since Week 5, an output that ranks No. 14 among WRs. Expect the good times to keep rolling. This is a matchup made in heaven for Pittsburgh's premier deep threat. Due to the Steelers' bevy of exceptional vertical weapons, Cincinnati's bracket coverage scheme is virtually useless. In his first clash with the Bengals, Wallace totaled seven catches for 102 yards because of the extra help rotated over to Santonio Holmes'(notes) side. If Holmes once again becomes the fall guy, the Mississippi product will log many sizable gains. Cincy has allowed the seventh-most 20-yard pass plays this season. Watch out Jimmy Orr. Wallace could eclipse your team record in the very near future.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 77 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13 fantasy points
Matchup: at Min
Two weeks ago Scott Linehan pushed for Pettigrew to get more involved in the offensive flow. Last week, his wish was granted. Against the Hawks the rookie reeled in a season-high seven catches for 70 yards and a touchdown, accumulating most of his yardage on designed screens. Another dazzling performance could be on deck. Due to Minnesota's aggressive, blitz-crazed nature, opposing tight ends have operated freely between the hashmarks for much of the season. On the year, the Vikes have surrendered 75.8 yards per game and six scores to oversized targets, equal to the most fantasy points allowed. With Calvin Johnson(notes) still hobbled and due to Minnesota's heavy pressure, Matthew Stafford(notes) will likely check down to his safety valve often. A borderline top-10 effort is definitely possible.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 48 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 10 fantasy points
LAMES (Started in more than 60 percent of Y! Plus leagues)
Donovan McNabb, Phi, QB (Noise QB Rank: 14, Bench: 8-12 team leagues, 74% started)
Matchup: at SD
McNabb's statistical production, like his approval rating among Philly fans, has been extremely volatile. His bland No. 16 QB ranking over the past five weeks has labeled him somewhat untrustworthy. Physically he's fine, but the multi-time All-Pro admits the offense needs to be "ironed out." Many of the Eagles' problems aren't McNabb's fault. The offensive line, which was supposed to be one of the more inflexible units entering the season, has underperformed. And Marty Morninweg's unbalanced blueprint has caused defenses to focus on the pass. Unless Philly's trench hogs can quickly recover their identity and the padlock is removed from the run portion of the playbook, McNabb will likely again be badgered constantly over four quarters. San Diego has limited passers to just 163.3 yards per game and five scores over the past four weeks, equal to the sixth-fewest fantasy points surrendered. Brett Favre (vs. Det), Joe Flacco(notes) (at Cle) and Alex Smith (vs. Chi) are safer plays.
Fearless Forecast: 18-28, 233 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, 13 fantasy points
Matchup: at Pit
Much to the chagrin of one Grizzly Behrens, Benson has transformed from bumbling Bear to indestructible Thundercat overnight. Currently ranked eighth in points per game among rushers, he's averaging a ridiculous 104.6 rushing yards per game. Of course, his numbers are somewhat skewed by an excessive workload (24.8 carries/game), but the reclamation project's achievements have been extraordinary. In his first battle with Pittsburgh, Benson accumulated a respectable 81 total yards and a touchdown, averaging a stout 4.8 yards per carry. But the second time around, yards will be more difficult to come by. The Steelers have dominated the line of scrimmage at home this season. They've limited rushers, including Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson and LT, to just 3.4 yards per carry and 57.5 rushing yards per game. The Benson of old could make a guest appearance.
Fearless Forecast: 23 carries, 76 rushing yards, 1 reception, 7 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8 fantasy points
Matchup: at GB
Despite wielding a Little Tikes hammer over the past several weeks, the Barbarian is still considered must play material in the eyes of many obtuse fantasy owners/pundits. His supporters need to focus on the present, not the past. Barber's explosiveness has vanished. Though he claims his quad injury is no longer an issue, his 3.7 yards per carry mark since Week 5 raises a red flag. Toss in Dallas' increased use of Tashard Choice(notes) in Wildcat formations inside the red zone, and the once-cherished rusher's fantasy reputation is becoming more tarnished. The Packers have had difficulties containing the pass for much of the season, but have thrived in run defense. Over the past five weeks, they've surrendered a mere 3.5 yards per carry, two touchdowns and 113 total yards per game to RBs, equal to the sixth-fewest fantasy points allowed. Another dull effort is likely on tap.
Fearless Forecast: 14 carries, 51 rushing yards, 2 reception, 12 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 6 fantasy points
Matchup: at Min
Before Week 9's samba with Seattle, Smith told Detroit reporters he was determined to silence critics by performing like a "lead dog." Based on the porous result, he proved to be more Shih Tzu than Doberman. In what will likely be another "poop on" effort, Smith will be hard-pressed to find creases against the Williams Wall. The second-year rusher did rack 93 total yards against them in Week 2, but due to the gross inadequacies of the Lions' passing game, the second time around will be much tougher, especially on the road. Minnesota has allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to RBs since Week 4. Expect Smith's five-game string of sub-100 total yard performances to continue.
Fearless Forecast: 19 carries, 65 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 16 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8 fantasy points
Matchup: at Wash
Though Marshall claims to have a "great smile and great legs," the future catwalk turner will not be a model fantasy option this week. Despite their wretched play offensively, the Redskins have performed oppositely on the other side of the line, especially against the pass. Only one receiver has surpassed the 70-yard mark and splashed pay-dirt against them over the past five weeks, equal to the third-fewest fantasy points allowed. That combined with Kyle Orton's(notes) regression in reads, particularly when pressured, hinders Marshall's Week 10 potential. Undoubtedly, he will still attract his customary 8-12 targets, but the Wyatt Earp of the AFC West may tote a water pistol instead of a Smith & Wesson in the nation's capital.
Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 57 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 5 fantasy points
Matchup: at Car
Against the league's sixth-ranked pass defense, Rowdy Roddy could be body slammed. Limited by a knee injury and Michael Turner(notes) last week, the PPR monster was held to just three catches for 27 yards, his third-worst total since 2007. Compared to last week, an uptick in production is likely, but don't expect sensational numbers. White was rock solid in his first matchup with the Panthers, catching six passes for 53 yards and a score. But Matt Ryan's(notes) recent performance downturn is a concern. Also, only two wideouts, Robert Meachem(notes) and Devery Henderson(notes) last week, have eclipsed the 80-yard mark against Carolina this season. White, not Tony Gonzalez(notes), who posed nude with his hottie wife for PETA, may be the butt of owner jokes this week.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 55 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 5 fantasy points
Matchup: at NYJ
Fantasy's favorite lady canoodler is about to come down with a debilitating illness – Darrelle Disease. Discussed previously, Revis has contained some of the finest talents in the league, including Andre Johnson(notes), Randy Moss(notes) and Marques Colston(notes). In total, No. 1 receivers have performed 11.8 percent below the league average against him. Add Sims-Walker to the list of victims. David Garrard's(notes) Mr. Hyde personality away from Jacksonville will once again reveal itself. In four road contests this year, the Beer Truck has yet to throw for a touchdown and has completed just 55.2 percent of his passes. No shocker, MSW has experienced a downturn in production away netting just 30.0 yards per game. Avoid the hyphenated wonder like the plague.
Fearless Forecast: 3 receptions, 19 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 1 fantasy point
Matchup: vs. Cin
Miller is one of several surprises who have contributed consistent returns in the Year of the Tight End. In eight games he's found the end zone three times while averaging 5.4 receptions and 46.4 yards per game. His 7.6 points per game mark ranks ninth at his position. But numbers can be deceiving. Outside his terrific returns Weeks 4-6, Miller has notched five largely ineffective outputs, including a five-catch, 20-yard effort against the Bengals in Week 3. Minus Owen Daniels'(notes) two-TD throttling four weeks ago, few tight ends have tallied even marginal numbers against the Bengals this year. Greg Olsen(notes), Todd Heap(notes) (twice) and Jermichael Finley(notes) all failed to reach the 60-yard mark against them. Miller is tough to bench due to his strong red zone presence, but with so many viable options available at the position this and seemingly every week he's prime pine material.
Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 36 receiving yards, 0 touchdown, 3 fantasy points
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